No matter where on the political spectrum you lie and no matter what you think of her policies, we are in a historic moment as Hillary Clinton has clinched the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, making her the first female to do so. This monumental moment has made me think back to all of the great women in history that helped us get to this point.
Most articles that give startup advice reflect on great work from mostly male historical figures and entrepreneurs, and what’s lacking right now is the world of advice from strong female figures.
So following the historical moment happening in the US right now, let’s reflect on 5 things startups can learn from female suffragist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
1. Change Must Be Acknowledged
In our technological age, everything can change quickly. Your consumer’s needs might shift, laws might change to impact your market, or your product might become irrelevant. By acknowledging these changes and pivoting your company to address them, you will be in good shape to grow your company.
2. The Truth is Very Important
Startups that hide behind vanity metrics will, in the end, suffer greatly. It’s important to acknowledge the truth about how the company is doing and where improvements need to be made. Investors respond to a company that understands where their true weaknesses lie and wants to improve in these areas rather than a company that tries to bend the truth.
3. True Entrepreneurs Thrive When Working Hard
If you find yourself hating the long hours, hard work, and tireless efforts, then the entrepreneurial lifestyle just might not be for you. And that’s OK. Those who thrive when constantly busy and gain a second wind in the late AM hours are the type of people that should be at the helm of a startup. Of course sleep deprivation is by no means productive, those that are their “best selves” when working hard are great leaders to get behind.
4. Take Care of Yourself So You Can Take Care of Your Company
If you are not at your best, your company will not be either. Working hard is one thing, but working yourself into the ground is another. Entrepreneurs have a tough time balancing work life and making sure they stay their healthiest selves, but it’s important to remember that if your mind is not well, then it will have a deep impact on your company.
5. We Must Keep Going
The lack of women in technology is still a huge issue, and for female startup leaders, it’s going to be harder to be taken seriously, harder to get investment, and harder to get equal pay. But, we must keep going to break down those barriers. We must have courage to stand up for what we deserve. We must not back down though we know the road will be harder for us.
As an inspiring suffragist, abolitionist, and social activist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton has left her mark in US history. She has taught all of us, women and men, important lessons for the social and business world, and how through hard work and motivation, change for the better can happen.